While technically a brand-new site, ShowbizMonkeys.com has a long history on the internet dating back to September 1, 2001. It was then that Paul Little, Carl McGill, Thu Tran, and Jeff Anseeuw launched CanadaMovies.net. With the help of fellow web lackies and content contributors, the site provided movie showtimes, advance screening contests, movie trailers, and entertainment news for Winnipeg and Calgary, with a plan to expand from there. And expand it did. In February 2002, Edmonton was added to the mix, providing all the services listed above to the City of Champions.
The next level of expansion was a little different, however, as it also involved some re-branding. MovieContests.com launched one year after CanadaMovies.net, servicing larger markets with contests and general information, but no movie listings like on the CanadaMovies.net websites. The first 2 MovieContests.com cities were Toronto and Vancouver, while Ottawa soon followed in early 2003 and Edmonton made the switch after showtimes were dropped in that market. By this point, now that both sites together were pretty much nationwide, they were well on their way to providing as many contests for videos and DVDs than for advance screenings.
Expansion was still part of the plan, however, and beginning June 20, 2003, MovieContests.com opened a section for New York City, marking its first venture into America. On October 31, 2003, another major U.S. city was brought into the MovieContests.com fold with Boston. At this point, other contests were also offered in the U.S. (such as DVDs and prize packs), opening up entries (and visitors) from all 50 states.
After several re-designs over the years, the first big overhaul came in February 2005, when MovieContests.com launched a brand new website that, while still having "city-specific" sections for the major screening cities, allowed visitors to just enter the main page of the site and access all the information without being restricted to selecting a city they likely weren't in.
When ShowbizMonkeys.com was launched, the idea was to take the best of what CanadaMovies.net and MovieContests.com had brought over the previous 6 years, add in some new ideas and set-up, and then expand not to new markets (the new site is actually "location-free"), but to new coverage. Gone were the days of only seeing movie contests, movie reviews, movie passes, and movie trailers. Those remained, but tons of coverage from the worlds of television, music, and comedy joined the fold, along with a bevy of new contributors and more frequent content.
We joined the world of podcasting in the early 2010s with several contributors doing a wide variety of shows. We began releasing many of our interviews under the "Kinda Sorta Maybe Like a Podcast" banner, and even included several of our back catalogue audio interviews to enhance the listening experience. For our interviews alone, podcasting has allowed us to occasionally get far more in-depth with our subjects than previous interviews.
ShowbizMonkeys.com is run by people who are fascinated by pop culture and art, and our contributors are passionate fans of film, comedy, television, and music. While we come nowhere close to producing the mass of content found on giant media websites, our dedicated volunteer team of writers, editors, interviewers, photographers, and promotional staff help to give you a product that is hopefully unique and interesting -- and a little outside of the mainstream when we can help it!
Since 2001, we've interviewed some of the funniest comedians working in stand-up and improv, some of the most interesting musicians and filmmakers from across Canada and the United States, and some of the most talented actors in film and television today. From Christopher Nolan to The Lonely Island, Guy Maddin to Hawksley Workman, it continues to be an exciting ride for all of us (and hopefully fascinating for our readers, listeners, and viewers). We've been able to visit the Academy Awards more than half a dozen times, and covered major festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival, Just for Laughs, and our hometown Winnipeg Folk Festival. We've watched a ridiculous amount of movies and TV shows (and talked about them as much as we could), and we've been at live music and comedy shows around the globe.
Who knows where we'll find ourselves in the years to come?